Home >> Blog >> SEO for E-commerce Websites: How to Drive Organic Traffic to your Online Stores in 2020
SEO for E-commerce Websites:
How to Drive Organic Traffic to your Online Stores in 2020
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results.
The benefits are obvious: free, passive traffic to your website, month after month.
But how do you optimize your content for SEO, and what “ranking factors” actually matter?
SEO Best Practices
A successful e-commerce website includes thorough, vivid product descriptions with beautiful, eye-catching photography and plenty of reviews to help visitors make purchase decisions.
It also means making it easy for visitors to purchase by making the buttons big enough, keeping your site glitch-free, and showing social proof of your best products.
Fun Fact -In Google Search, 95% of people don’t go past the first page so getting to the top of the line is the only way to get real results.
Keyword Search Algorithm
Here’s a simple way to understand the formula behind keyword search for your e-commerce website.
Find the number that a keyword is being searched for and multiply it with the percentage of clicks of that keyword. Based on your page ranking in google search, this will give you the no. of visitors you will gain in your page just from that one keyword.
Take the no. of visitors and multiply it with the percentage of your site conversions per month. You can easily do that by installing Google Analytics to your website. This will give you the no. of sales per month.
20,000 Searches * 25% Clicks = 5,000 Visitors
5,000 Visitors * 10% Conversions = 500 Sales / Month
Keyword Search – Best Practices
- Ensure you target keywords that are fairly easy to rank for
- Ensure your target keywords have decent search volume
- Ensure your target keywords have high conversion rates
- You also need to factor in buyer intent (aka “commercial intent”).
Keyword Search – Buyer Intent
Buyer intent simply means how far along someone is in their decision to buy.
For example, someone searching for “best iPhone” is probably still in the research phase — they may not be ready to buy. They’re likely to be reading product reviews and comparing features and benefits.
But if they’re searching “iPhone 11 Pro Max”, they’re probably shopping around for the best deal on that exact laptop – which means they’re much more likely to buy.
Oftentimes, buyer intent correlates with the average cost per click (CPC) of a keyword, which can be found with Google Keyword
Keyword Search – Organic Sources
Find your Similar Keywords (LSI)
Just type your main keyword into Google and look at the autofill suggestions.
You can also look at the related searches at the bottom of the page and at the ‘People also ask’ section.
Amazon is a gold mine of high buyer intent keywords — people literally search on Amazon with the intent of buying something.
To find keywords with Amazon, start typing in your seed keyword; This is a word you think you’d probably like to rank for.
If you have competitors who rank higher than you in search results, you can use their site to steal keyword ideas.
ahrefs is an all-around amazing SEO tool. You can use it for keyword research, competitive research, to build backlinks and much more.
Backlinks are links from external domains that point to pages on your domain; essentially linking back from their domain to yours.
Great content can serve as your biggest plants for getting loads of external backlinks. You can then funnel that link authority from your content to your product and category pages.
A great way to keep track of our keywords is to do regular audits on competitors websites.
Here’s an easy guide for how to create backlinks.
SEMRUSH is a great tool for performing competitive keyword research.
Here’s a list of domains competing organically with the keyword ‘women’s dresses‘ in Cyprus.
Keyword Search – Paid Sources
This is a list of paid softwares that can be used for researching and bidding keywords (paying for specific keywords to be used in google ads and ensure that your target audience sees your website at the top of google search).
Site Architecture – Overview
“E-commerce Site Architecture is how you set up your navigation, category pages and product pages. At its core, it’s about getting the best, most relevant content in front of users and reducing the number of times they have to click to find it.”
Site Architecture – Best Practices
- Make it simple and scalable.
- No page should take more than three clicks to get to from any other page.
- Use keyword research to create highly relevant page URLs and subdirectories.
Site Architecture – Homepage
- Typically, your home page is the most authoritative page on your site.
- Internal links from one page on your site to another passes “authority”. So your home page can pass the most authority to your category pages, which then pass authority to your product pages.
- You want to give the most water to the highest producing plants – your major category and product pages. To do that, you need to send them the most internal links from your highest authority pages.
Make sure that you show your key pages on your top menu in order of priority and drive more traffic to those key pages. Consider having an ‘OFFERS’ or a ‘NEW IN’ page as your first menu items, followed by your key categories (i.e Womenswear, Menswear, Kidswear etc.)
Introduce a carousel at the top of the Homepage to highlight all your offers and perhaps any new products.
Remember that video is more engaging than an image, so having some kind of movement or motion graphics can really help grab your users attention.
Deals of the week
Introduce a section on your Homepage with all the Offers running at that specific time. This is a great way to remind your users of your running offers, to use keywords to bring traffic to the Homepage and also link to your more high traffic pages.
New Lines & Best Sellers
Introduce a section on your Homepage for New Lines and Best Sellers. A great reminder of all the amazing items you have for your customers. Don’t forget to link this section to a relevant page on your website.
Site Architecture – Category Pages
Your category pages are arguably the most important pages to rank. If someone finds them in Google, they immediately have access to all your products in that category.
Putting your primary keyword in the URL is simple and improves search rankings.
Remove any unnecessary words from your URL. Google prefers shorter, easier to read URLs so additional words have a negative impact on SEO.
For example, from the 2 URL links below, Google will prefer the 2nd one: www.theflower.com/collections/womensday-gifts
The title tag, or H1 tag, should have the keyword in it as close to the beginning as possible.
Most category pages get straight to the products with no introduction — which isn’t good for Google.
You should aim for at least a 300-word intro with your keyword included at least 2-3 times. (But don’t stuff it in there, make it flow and look natural.)
Since Google can’t read images, they rely on alt text to know what it’s about.
This also gives you another spot to include your keyword on the page and gives you a shot at showing up in Google image results.
Describe the image, and be specific. Keep your alt text fewer than 125 characters.
Don’t start alt text with “picture of…” or “Image of…” Jump right into the image’s description. Use your keywords, but sparingly.
Here’s an easy guide for how to successfully write alt-text for your images
Including your keyword in your metadata (AKA description tag) can improve the click-through rate, which has been shown to improve rankings.
This is because when you include your main keyword in the metadata, Google bolds it in the search results.
Add a description (60-65 words) in each category page below the title.
This is a great way to add keywords from your SEO research to bring more traffic.
Site Architecture – Product Pages
Repeat all the steps in the category pages, with 2 differences.
- You don’t need a banner image (since you have product images).
- Instead of writing 60 words, I recommend reaching 500 words (at least on your 10 top sellers).
The reason is that Google is primarily a research tool. So, when a page has a lot of information, Google thinks it has a better chance of containing the answer a searcher is seeking.
Product reviews boost e-commerce SEO and increase conversion rates.
If you need help, here’s an awesome guide to product reviews. https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/use-product-reviews-on-bigcommerce/
You can also include user-generated content, such as customer photos, videos or killer reviews.
Here’s an infographic on optimising your product pages:
Add a rating function in all our products as a form of social proof but also as a way to see your customer preferences.
Improve the appearance & visibility of the product images. Make sure you have good quality clean images. Your background should ideally be white or light grey so that the focus is the product image. If you have any details you would like to show, make sure you also have a zoom icon.
Social media, paid ads and email marketing are all ways to drive traffic to your website, however, SEO is the only way to get website traffic, without any cost, in an easy and reliable manner.
A simple SEO campaign can result in a significant increase in sales for your e-commerce website, and it doesn’t have to take you years nor expertise to achieve.
Follow the steps in this guide and you’ll be way ahead of your competition. You’ll start to rank on the first page and slowly get to the top 3 search results for all your website’s main keywords. It’s a straightforward process.
If you found this guide helpful, please take a moment to share it so we can help as many store owners as possible grow their business!